First came Shaun of the Dead. Then came Hot Fuzz. Finally, the third part to Edgar Wright’s cornetto trilogy has come. And it’s actually pretty good. It fits snugly with the other two films, despite some of its dialogue falling a little flat and the pacing not always feeling right. But lets talk about the positive stuff first.
As always, the cast is perfection, with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reprising their main roles as always. This time around, Pegg is the pathetic, hopelessly drunk character, whilst Frost is his tightly wound friend. Pegg plays Gary King, a man nearing his 40s that constantly acts and dresses like a 90s teenager. Frost is his long-lost friend Andrew, who grudgingly commits to returning to the town of Newton Haven along with King and his other sidekicks Oliver, Peter and Steven. Martin Freeman is hilarious as the dapper businessman Oliver, and with cameos from Pierce Brosnan and David Bradley, you can almost sufficiently enjoy the film by its casting alone.
(Photo: The creepy ass aliens that feature in The World’s End)
The ideas are fresh, with an alien invasion and impending apocalypse that doesn’t feel like a repeat of Shaun of the Dead‘s zombie one. Action scenes are both hilarious and exciting, with several great one-liners that had the cinema in hysterics. And of course, Wright’s dynamic film style shines through yet again, with Steven Price’s music matching each of his shots with pinpoint accuracy. It is simply a delight to watch on the big screen, especially if you have seen the previous Cornetto films and you know what exactly to look out for. The British comedy is clever, right from the first pint of beer all the way to “the bitter end… or the lager end” as Pegg’s character states. The concerns of the plot and the thematic content give the trilogy a fitting end, and it doesn’t disappoint. The Cornetto theme is there, not in a way that is expected, but in a kind of sad way that farewells the trilogy nicely rather than leaving the audience hanging.
(Photo: The three-flavours Cornetto trilogy – Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End)
However, The World’s End starts off quite slowly, which is unexpected due to the strong openings of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Newcomers to the Cornetto trilogy may end up being completely confused, while Cornetto die-hards will find themselves uselessly comparing the film to the two greater ones before it. There’s no doubt about it, The World’s End is just not good enough. Its fun, and finishes things off well, but I found myself half-disappointed as there were scenes that were lacking in energy and heart. The humour is often weak, and I felt as if the screenplay had perhaps been rushed, as the writing wasn’t on the same level. The last half-an-hour of the film seemed out of place, with odd pacing and confusing dialogue that was honestly quite monotonous. Pegg’s character is so frustratingly obnoxious and unsympathetic that when he finally reached his redemption it felt forced. I cared more for his “friend” Oliver, although I might be biased there since I’m a massive Martin Freeman fan.
Overall though, I enjoyed The World’s End. I would give it a generous 7.5/10 (Shaun of the Dead would be an 8, and Hot Fuzz a 9). I am probably being a bit hard on it just because I loved the other two films so much, and desperately wanted it to be bigger and better. It did a good job embracing its silliness and stupidity which I loved, and It succeeded in incorporating the cornetto theme in a surprising way. The ending was quite satisfying despite the bizarre pacing of the film, and Wright successfully parodied the Sci-fi genre while still staying true to his unique thematic style. It is definitely a cinema must-see if you are a cornetto fan. If you haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I think you should watch those two first, and then watch The World’s End with the expectation that it won’t be as good as the others. Don’t forget to bring a Cornetto (or two) to eat while you watch the movie!
What did you think of The World’s End? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to know more about the Cornetto trilogy, you can watch The World’s End featurette here.